David Stawn is a PGA of America Professional and has been the Director of Golf here at Cranwell for 21 years. When David isn’t focused on growing and managing our various golf and recreation programs, he is working on his stroke. Last July David placed second in the Northeastern New York PGA Professional Championship earning him a spot in the upcoming Professional National Championship beginning on June 28 in Philadelphia.
We sat down with David recently to learn more about him and his love for the game.
When did you first fall in love with the game of golf and how did it happen?
My father took my younger brother and me to the course for the first time when I was about 13 years old. We played a few times that summer, but it wasn’t until after high school that I knew I wanted to pursue it more seriously. The company I worked for gave its employees membership privileges at a local course and that’s when I began to play again and I got hooked.
How did you find yourself as the Director of Golf at Cranwell Resort?
After spending 10 years in Florida working at a couple of premier golf clubs, I was offered a job at a course in Connecticut as an assistant professional which primarily was a teaching and playing position. It really doesn’t get any better than that. I played and gave lessons to the members and their guests. Dan Burack, Cranwell’s managing partner, was a member and when he purchased Cranwell in 1993, I was offered the job of Head Professional. The Director of Golf title came when I was asked to find and hire a new Golf Course Superintendent that could help us bring the course conditions to a higher level of prestige.
What is the best part of your game?
I would say the best part of my game is driving accuracy. Golf isn’t easy, and sometimes nothing goes the way you want it to. More practice time makes it easier.
What has been the biggest highlight of your golf career so far?
Winning the 2002 Manchester Open “was” the biggest highlight but recently qualifying for the National Club Professional Championship that will be played at the Philadelphia Cricket Club next June could turn out be “the” biggest highlight of my playing career.
What is your number one golf tip for anyone looking to improve their game?
My number one golf tip for anyone trying to improve their game is to seek professional instruction. It’s important to learn the basics of how to generate clubhead speed through efficient movement. When you learn to swing the club around you (back and then forward) with balance, you become more consistent at hitting solid shots. If you hit the ball solid, it goes where you aim it.